Site Overview

The Western Settlement's largest Viking farmstead

Much less is known about the Western Settlement than the Eastern Settlement. It was probably only a quarter of the size of the Eastern Settlement, although the ruins of about 95 farms have been located. It was further north than the Eastern Settlement and had a much shorter growing season.

Sandnæs (Sandnes) was the largest Viking farmstead in the Western Settlement. It was settled around 1000 and abandoned by the late 14th century. It was located at the site known as Kilaarsarfik today. The church for the area was also based here.

The economy was based on livestock but conditions there seem to have been filthy throughout the life of the site. Iron was also extracted at the site.

The Western Settlement was last mentioned by Ivar Bardarson (Ivar Bårdsson), a Norwegian cleric who was sent to Greenland in 1341 to serve as superintendent of the bishop's seat at Gardar, in the Eastern Settlement. In the mid-1300s, Bardarson travelled to the western area and recorded that all the farms had been deserted.